Indonesian Man ‘Cheated’ After Selling Potential $1.7 Million Meteorite for $14K
An Indonesian man has cleared up he did not become an overnight millionaire from the meteorite that crashed into his home, as western media outlets previously reported.
Josua Hutagalung, a 33-year-old coffin maker from North Sumatra, Indonesia, went viral after a meteorite crashed into his home last August, according to The Independent.
The man said he was working outside when he heard a loud bang. He went to investigate and discovered a rock that went through the roof of his house. The impact pushed it 15 centimeters (5.9 inches) deep into the soil of his garden.
“The sound was so loud that parts of the house were shaking too. And after I searched, I saw that the tin roof of the house had broken,” Hutagalung told local newspaper Kompas. “When I lifted it, the stone was still warm.”
The meteorite, which weighed 2.1 kilograms (4.6 pounds), is classified as a carbonaceous chondrite, an extremely rare variant estimated to be 4.5 billion years old. It is believed to be worth $855 per gram.
Although the exact amount was not specified, it was reported that Hutagalung sold the rare space rock to U.S. meteorite expert Jared Collins for over $1.3 million. Collins described Hutagalung as a “canny negotiator” with the expert carrying a large amount of cash on himself to seal the purchase.
However, it was later reported that Collins later sold the meteorite to a collector identified as Jay Piatek, according to AsiaOne. The rock is currently stored at the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University.
Hutagalung later came forward to clarify he only sold the space rock to an American man in Bali for 200 million Indonesian Rupiah ($14,000) and charged an additional 14 million Indonesian Rupiah ($992) to repair his roof, according to Detik via AsiaOne.
Hutagalung shared the money with his family, orphans and the local churches, BBC Indonesian reported.
While speaking to local media, Hutagalung expressed sadness.
“If it is true (the value is) Rp26 billion, I feel cheated. I am disappointed,” he told BBC Indonesia.
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